Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Government
October 15th, 2014
6:25
 

Here in the U.S., there’s been a growing trend to give incentives to people who reduce their use of non-earth friendly carriers (e.g., plastic bags).  While they are convenient, most are NOT biodegradable and create mountains of waste.  There has been some success – I’ve seen lots of shoppers at the grocery stores and farmers’ markets using canvas or cloth bags for their purchases.  Small victories, to be sure…but they do add up!

The Scottish have taken this further and there is a Parliamentary pledge for the entire country:

and click here to read the clip about:

The Zero Waste Scotland Carrier Bag Commitment

The Scottish Parliament has passed legislation that will require ALL retailers (food and non-food) to charge a minimum of 5p for each new single-use carrier bag (including paper, those made from some plant based materials and plastic), from 20th October 2014.

The Carrier Bag Commitment will recognise businesses who donate the proceeds from the bag charge to good causes, and all retailers are being urged to sign-up, free of charge.Here’s a story about one retailer, Superdry,  that’s taking the Pledge and donating their proceeds to the Trees for Life charity in the U.K.

Think about what kind of ‘bag-gage’ you use and carry – and make a conscious effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.  It’s good for everyone!

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3D Printing is going off-roading – or, more accurately, off-Earth-ing! Thanks to some really intense work done by Made In Space for NASA, the

First Zero-G 3D Printer Is On Its Way To The Space Station

Credit:  Made In Space

Credit: Made In Space

While there are many unique challenges inherent in this endeavor, the aim is to provide a means for parts replication, food production, and other ‘manufactured’ items on-site in space to lessen the weight of the provisions which astronauts have been carrying from necessity in previous space missions.

Here are some other articles from various sources about the topic:

Space.com       NASA       Nature.com

Can you offer your skills to address some of the hurdles that must be overcome to make this a viable reality for space travel?  And maybe take a trip among the stars yourself??

 

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October 1st, 2014
8:29
 

With a new illness dominating the headlines seemingly on a daily basis, health care has taken a prominent position in the minds of the global community.  Here’s an organization you may wish to consider adding to your list of ‘where will I go after school?’ and ‘what contributions can I make that will be valuable to the sustainability of our planet?’

Health Care Without Harm

Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) is an international coalition of more than 500 members in 53 countries that works to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice.

Programs include: Medical Waste, Toxic Materials, Safer Chemicals, Green Building and Energy, Healthy Food, Pharmaceuticals, Green Purchasing, Climate and Health, Transportation, Water.

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September 27th, 2014
9:39
 

I was pained by reading the article linked below about blast fishing off the coast of Africa. (Yes, you read that correctly – blast fishing: fish being caught by being blasted out of the water with explosives).  It is a very real scenario and needs more Smarter Planet minded folks to come up with alternatives that will help provide financial stability for the fishermen as well as keeping them uninjured and out of prison…

Blast fishing destroying Tanzania’s marine habitats

 

Thankfully, the damages suffered by the marine eco-system and the humans injured by engaging in this dangerous form of fishing have not gone unnoticed.  Read about how Smart Fish  is working to combat the problem.  SmartFish is one of the Largest Regional Programmes for fisheries in Africa covering 20 bénéficiaire Countries in the Eastern, Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) area. Funded by the European Union and Implemented by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) Jointly with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

A statistic that put things into greater perspective:

  • Each blast kills all fish and other living organisms within a 20m radius, completely destroying the coral reef habitat and there is no natural recovery   Source: SmartFish

 

Ponder that! And consider what will become of the Indian Ocean if blast fishing is allowed to continue…  Will you make a difference with your work now and in future?

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August 23rd, 2014
8:59
 

As we all droop from the heat of summer in America, it’s a depressing thought to imagine that water shortages could spell an end to making lemonade or running thru the sprinkler on your lawn or hanging out at a pool or beach with your friends or biting into a sweet juicy peach grown by a local farmer (all particularly summer-y type activities that are generally associated with the U.S.).  But it may not be as far fetched as one might suppose -  and it may have a financial repercussions worldwide, too!

Since 2011 companies have spent more than $84bn worldwide to improve the way they conserve, manage or obtain water, according to data from Global Water Intelligence, regulatory disclosures and executive interviews with the Financial Times.

 

Please take some time to check out the article by Pilita Clark linked below .  Admittedly, it’s a lengthy read, but absolutely fascinating (and slightly terrifying!) in the details about the many areas of the globe that have already begun preparations in hopes of staving off the worst effects of the ‘evaporation’ of this most precious commodity.

 

A WORLD WITHOUT WATER

 

Continents

(P.S. Note her mention of Coca-Cola and their project with World Wildlife Fund – I talked about their work in my blog post on June 27th. Here’s another chance to click on the panda to explore different career paths for yourself)

WWF logo

 

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